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In Honor of
RADM Samual G. Fuqua


 


 
"This Is Your Life" television program honored RADM Fugua on Dec. 7, 1958. CDR Jim D. Miller, USN was the surprise guest.
     R. Adm. Samual G. Fuqua was born Oct. 15th, 1899 in Salt River Township (a little town known now as Laddonia, Missouri). That territory was then known as "Little Dixie" because all the people living there in that vicinity were southerners who settled there after the Civil War.
     Admiral Fuqua's great-great-great-great grandfather was Lieut. William Stark, First Continental Dragoons who fought under General George Washington at Valley Forge, and the Admiral is a member of the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Virginia.
     On July 1, 1919 he entered the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland as a midshipman from Missouri. On June 8th, 1923, he graduated from the Naval Academy, and two weeks later married his childhood sweetheart, Edna Agnes Hammett.
     After graduation from the Naval Academy he was at sea for seven years, attached successfully to the USS Arizona (his first assignment was aboard the USS Arizona. 18 years later, he was again attached to the USS Arizona, and was with her when she went down at Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7th, 1941), USS McDonough, and the USS Mississippi. He then served in Dist. Communication Office of the Twelfth Naval District, San Francisco, California from March 1930 through March 1932.

 
Admiral Sam G. Fugua and his wife Edna, March 1986
Wearing the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism at the sinking of the USS Arizona, Dec. 7, 1941.
     After that, he did brief duty aboard the USS Hamilton and, on June 25, 1932, he joined the Destroyer Ferry. He was then transferred in June 1933 to the USS Altair. He was there 2 years and then reported to the Thirteenth Naval District Hdqtrs., Seattle, Wash., for a tour of duty as Instructor of the Fifth Fleet Division,, USNR. at Aberdeen, Wash.
     In March 1937 he was ordered to the Destroyer Sqdn Five, USS Peary flagship, and on Dec. 11, 1937, he assumed the command of the USS Bittern, an auxiliary mine sweeper of the Asiatic Fleet, and served additionally as Commander Mine Division Three from June 21, 1938, until detached in Aug. 1939. From Sept. 30, that year, until Feb. 7, 1941, he was assigned to the Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Ill.
     He joined the USS Arizona as Damage Control Officer and First Lieut. "For distinguished conduct in action, outstanding heroism and utter disregard of his own safety, above and beyond the call of duty during the attack of the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, by Japanese forces on Dec. 7, 1941, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. The citation continues:
 

     "Upon the commencement of the attack, Lieut. Comdr. Fuqua rushed to the quarterdeck of the USS Arizona, to which he was attached, where he was stunned and knocked unconscious by the explosion of a large bomb which hit the quarterdeck, penetrated several decks, and started a severe fire. Upon regaining consciousness, he began to direct the fighting of fire and the rescue of wounded and injured personnel. Almost immediately there was a tremendous explosion forward, which made the ship appear to rise out of the water, shudder, and settle down by the bow rapidly. The whole forward part of the ship was enveloped in flames which were spreading rapidly, and the wounded and burned men were pouring out of the ship to the quarterdeck.
     Despite these conditions, his harrowing experience and severe enemy strafing at the time, he continued to direct fighting of fires in order to check them while the wounded and burned could be taken from the ship, and supervised the rescue of these men in such an amazing calm and cool manner and with such excellent judgment that it inspired everyone who saw him and undoubtedly resulted in the saving of many lives.
     After realizing the ship could not be saved and that he was the senior surviving officer aboard, he directed it to be abandoned, but continued to remain on the quarterdeck and direct the abandoning ship and rescue of personnel until satisfied that all personnel that could be had been saved, after which he left his ship with the last boatload.
     The conduct of Lieut. Comdr. Fuqua was not only in keeping with the highest traditions of the Naval Service but characterizes him as an outstanding leader of men."
     ~Signed, Franklin D. Roosevelt

     From Feb 9 until Dec. 22, 1942, he served as Damage Control Officer and First Lieut. of the USS Tuscaloosa. Following brief duty at Aruba-Curacao, Netherlands West Indies, and the Caribbean Sea Frontier, he reported on June 6, 1943, as Commander Escort Vessel Administration, Naval Operating Base, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. July 1944 he was ordered to the Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island.
     During the latter months of the war, Jan. to Aug. 1945, he was assigned to the Staff of Commander Seventh Fleet, as Operations Officer. He was awarded the Legion of Merit "For distinguishing himself for exceptionally meritorious conduct (in that capacity) from Jan. 9 to Aug. 15, 1945". The citation states: "Exercising sound judgment and professional ability, Captain Fuqua rendered valuable assistance in preparing operations plans for long-range and complete amphibious operations, and, in addition, was in large measure responsible for the adequate supply and maintenance facilities provided for support of amphibious landings in the South Philippine and Borneo areas. By his excellent leadership and administrative ability, he contributed materially to the success of our forces in this area..." and his conduct thoughout upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
     ~Signed, James Forrestol, Sec'y of the Navy

     Next assigned to the Staff of Commander Service Squadron Seven. He remained with the Service Force, Pacific Fleet until Jan. 1946, when he was transferred to the Staff of Commander, Philippine Sea Frontier.
     In July of the same year he was detached for duty on the Staff of Commander Columbia Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet (nineteenth Fleet, until May 1949).
     In June he assumed command of the USS Dixie (AD-14). After a year in that command, he reported in July 1950 as Asst. Chief of Staff for Logistics, to the Commandant, Eighth Naval Dist. Hdqtrs New Orleans, La. One year later, he became Chief of Staff to the Comdt. Eight Naval Dist New Orleans, La. He remained there until his retirement became effective on July 1, 1953.

     In addition to the Medal of Honor and the Legion of Merit, R. Adm. Fuqua has the World War 1 Victory Medal (Army); the Cina Service Medal; American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; American Campaign Medal; World War Victory Medal; Navy Occupation Service Medal; Asia Clasp; National Defense Service Medal; and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one Bronze Star.
     Upon retirement from the Navy, June 1953, he was accepted as graduate student to Stanford University at Palo Alto, California. He received his Masters Degree in Political Science and Mathematics with Teaching Credentials.
     From 1957 to 1960 he taught math at Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia.
     From 1960 to 1969, Adm. Fuqua taught Political Science at St. Petersburg College in Florida.
     Retired again in 1969, he moved to Atlanta, Ga. where he and Mrs. Fuqua lived with their daughter Pat and her husband Charles Leo Nagle III, Comdr. U.S.N. Retired.
     Three grandsons the Admiral's "pride and joy"---they are Chas. Leo Nagle IV, Samuel Glenn Fuqua Nagle and Patrick Hammett Nagle. He also had a great-grandson named Chas. Leo Nagle V, born Dec. 13, 1986.
     Adm. Fuqua was always a champion for the rights of young people. At Fork Union when the boys were being censored "for acting up" (unquote the Adm.) he said, "Bear with these precocious youngsters, someday they will be the MEN ON THE MOON" (unquote).
     At that time, anybody thinking of our men on the moon was thought a little "far out"; the Adm. always said we'd be the first ones [missing text].
     After World War II, there was the cry of "Soft American Boys". He was asked to speak at New York Athletic Club and was still teaching at Fork Union in 1958. He said this: "Don't ever let anybody tell you our American boys are soft. I saw men on fire burning to death, and they fought the ship 'til flesh fell off in our hands. Let us give young people our full support, our guidance, and the benefit of our years of experience. The swiftly changing world today and the hidden goals of Communism make it ever harder to hold a steady course."
     In 1981 Adm. suffered strokes. The family was able to care for him at home for three years. Then he entered the V.A. Rest Home at V.A. Medical Center where he received wonderful care.
     On the afternoon of Jan. 27th, he passed away quietly in his sleep. An Ecumenical Service was conducted here the following Saturday with Catholic and Protestant Chaplains officiating. He was buried at Arlington with Full Military Honors on Feb., 2, 1987.
     Immediately after death, when every man stands in line and "waits his turn", when "Papa's" number was called and he stood before the Judge at that last great Mast, when his ledger was closed, there was a loud and clear "WELL DONE" Samuel Glenn Fugua".
     ~Signed, Edna (mama) Fuqua

Copyright 2002-2015 Lorraine Marks-Haislip